Wednesday, June 20, 2012
leading by repentance
Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD, the God of Israel, in order that his fierce anger may turn away from us.
2 Chronicles 29:10
Hezekiah's commitment to true reformation in Judah was breathtakingly fast. He realized that his father's rampant idolatry had led the nation in an out of control plunge to ruin and captivity. Hezekiah no longer wanted to shutter up the temple. He moved quickly from the first days of his reign to correct this.
The king assembled the priests and the Levites in the temple courts. He repented of the nation's unfaithfulness and encouraged them to cleanse themselves and the temple in order to initiate the worship of Yahweh in His house again. They went rapidly to work, cleansing the temple of the idolatrous images set up therein and preparing themselves to perform full levitical duties once again.
Once this was done, the priests reported back to Hezekiah. The king rose early the very next morning and offered many sacrifices, including a sin offering participated in by the government officials. This was the way it was supposed to be. And it is great to see Hezekiah waste no time in doing it. He meant what he said when he expressed his will to covenant with God again.
God blessed Hezekiah with a long reign. Judah had been in spiritual darkness for a generation. God used the spiritual leadership of a king broken by Judah's sin to bring them back. And the earnest nature of Hezekiah's leadership in repentance was a big part of that restoration. The most powerful leadership move Hezekiah ever made was public repentance and commitment to God.